I walked into a historic hotel that I booked on Texas’ Gulf Coast. I was expecting the room to be a bit outside the normal, run of the mill hotel room. I flipped off my flip-flops and began walking around. This was a bad idea. The soles of my feet were soon the color of pavement. Clearly, the hotel hadn’t cleaned its hardwood floors in a few decades. I started to look around and quickly realized that was also a bad idea. Cobwebs and fallen insects are not exactly one’s dream on a beach vacation.
With each and every hotel experience, travelers are often met with varying degrees of cleanliness. An army of detailed housekeepers cleans some hotel rooms while others are left untouched since George Washington’s days. Before you go roaming around your hotel room and settle in for the night, be sure to take these steps to check out your hotel room’s clean scene.
Check the bed for bugs and other unwelcome guests: The minute I check into a hotel room, before bringing my suitcase beyond the inside of the door, I head straight for the bed. Bed bugs can lurk behind headboards or under the sheets along the mattress. While you might feel a bit ridiculous, these are unwelcome guests you don’t want to snuggle up to at night. Even if the bed checks out for bugs, take a look at the sheets. Do they look like they have been washed? If they look like they have seen a few guests before you, call down for a fresh batch.
Hold the phone and remote, literally: And before you make that call, take a look at the phone. Hotel phones can be littered in germs as they are frequently neglected in the cleaning process. Even if it looks clean, consider wiping it down with a baby wipe or some sort of disinfectant. Other travelers go so far as to travel with their own disinfectant to avoid getting sick. Television remotes can also be germ central in hotel rooms. You would hate to get sick just from the innocent action of changing the channel.
Toss the throw pillows off of the bed: Perhaps you have booked a hotel that prides itself on cleanliness. Many hotels advertise how intensively they clean as cleanliness is one of the most sought after features of a hotel for guests. Regardless of how clean the room may be, the throw pillows on the beds and chairs probably aren’t. These decorative pillows are frequently never washed, as they are just decorative. If your hotel room has one of those older bedspreads, usually of the floral, shiny quilt variety, ditch those as well. Bedspreads may also be cleaned infrequently.
Ask for a second cleaning or new room: In the case of my historic hotel stay in Texas, rather than just reciting to myself that this was just one night and I could handle all of the dust, I should have immediately asked for a second cleaning. Travelers check into hotel rooms that aren’t up to cleanliness standards and rather than saying something, they deal with it for the night. A room can easily be vacuumed and dusted a second time. If you aren’t pleased with the cleanliness of your room, don’t be afraid to speak up and make your hotel room a clean dream. Like buying a defective product, you can ask for a new room or for your room to be cleaned again. You are paying for it after all.
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